A planned trip to Bedford to fish a section of the River Great Ouse called the New Cut didn't quite go to plan. Having fished here in the past and caught a wide range of coarse species I have always used bait, I really wanted to use a fly and from what I remembered of the river French leader techniques would work well. Arriving with fevered expectation I crossed a bridge and was greeted by a strong clear flow; the river looked in fantastic condition, the gravel sparkling, the ranunculas bright green and swaying.
Scouting several spots I found a dark pool, its depth dark and inviting, feeding my imagination at what might be cruising in the shadow. Unfortunately while looking at a notice to check the day ticket prices I found to my horror the stretch was now season ticket, feeling a little devastated I had to quickly change plans; I didn't have £43 for the ticket, nor the inclination to pay that either as I doubted I would fish here enough to warrant the cost.
Tom was due to meet me in Bedford as he works nearby - a major reason for choosing the venue - I told him about the change of plans and I headed in the direction of our club waters. Knowing Tom would be a couple of hours behind me I headed towards the urban stretch. We fished there on Sunday evening during persistent rain and didn't fair particularly well although we didn't blank and I caught a rather nice brownie. Due to all the rain during the afternoon, on top of what had fallen over the last few days the river was coloured and became murkier during the evening.
|A dark trout from Sunday evening|
As I set up, the surface became alive with rises, with the fish cruising around the pool taking invisible items from the surface. With this change in conditions I chose a size 20 CDC shuttlecock - simply tied with an olive dyed peacock quill abdomen, a tiny ball of dubbing at the thorax and finished off with a healthy tuft of CDC to keep it afloat. After missing a couple of speedy rises the first fish landed was a feisty dace followed by pricking two other fish, the pool went quiet after that so I moved on.
Next to the outflow a bridge spans the river, the water running below flows over a smooth concrete bottom - not known for its fish holding properties. A tall sloping weir ends directly above the bridge, many holes within the weir slope create upwellings at the base. I spotted a trout earlier in one of the upwellings while looking down from the bridge, it was big enough to have noticed. A few casts into the boiling water with a JP Pupa saw the indicator stop as it traveled downstream, a firm lift attached the fish to the line. Despite the shallow water the fish stayed close, using its power it tried the reach the safety of the hole at the bottom of the concrete weir, the Lexa subduing every lunge and surge. Once in the net I was left surprised at the size of the trout, great condition and a chunky handful.
|A small trout caught from the outflow pool after the larger fish from under the bridge.|
|Roach are a rare capture for me on a fly, this was a nice example.|